Whether it’s the luscious greenery or the cool blue ocean, Cape Town is a tourist gateway with an abundance of activities for both young and old to enjoy. There is always something exciting to do in Cape Town. Here are 8 things you should do on your first trip to Cape Town.
Cape Town is situated in the Western Cape of South Africa. The Western Cape stretches over 129 000 squared kilometres with Cape Town comprising just 2400 squared kilometres. However, when visiting people rarely say that they are visiting the Western Cape but rather refer to the entire province as Cape Town.
There are beautiful beaches throughout Cape Town. Most of the beaches in the area cross with the Atlantic Ocean so there have bright blue seas and very cold water.
There are numerous beaches on offer and popular attractions include Kalk Bay where you may encounter seals. Sea Point offers a beautiful promenade. Hout Bay also offers an opportunity to view seals and is a family friendly spot. Other beaches in the area include Muizenberg and St James which have the iconic colourful changing booths. Or Camps Bay and Clifton 4th providing spectacular views.
Muizenberg Beach / St James
Bikini beach in Gordon’s Bay is one of the few beaches which crosses with the Indian Ocean. As a result, the beach has a warm under current making it an ideal spot to enjoy the water.
Bikini Beach – Gordons Bay Kalk Bay
2. Table Mountain
When visiting Cape Town there are two mandatory stops that a person should make. One of these is making your way to one of the seven wonders of the world which is none other than Table Mountain.
Table Mountain Cableway
Table Mountain is an iconic landmark in the city of Cape Town. It is a flat-topped mountain which can be seen from anywhere you drive in the area. Table Mountain is a definite tourist attraction. You can either hike or take a cableway to get to the top of the mountain. At the top, be prepared to be surrounded by phenomenal views of the entire city.
- Website: https://www.tablemountain.net/
3. Robben Island
The second mandatory stop is Robben Island. This is an island located along the coast of Bloubergstrand. It is an historical landmark as it was a home to political prisoners. Nelson Mandela, one of the most iconic beings, was imprisoned for twenty-seven years on Robben Island.
In order to visit Robben Island you have to travel to the V & A waterfront which is the departure point. As it is an island, the only mode of transport to get to the island is via a ferry. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance or online and they are limited per day.
On Robben Island you will be divided into groups and be assigned a tour guide who will take you around the entire island. There are stops made at various points including Nelson Mandela’s cell where you can take photographs and learn about the history of the island and South Africa as a whole.
- Website: https://www.robben-island.org.za/
4. Boulders Beach
Penguins penguins and more penguins. Boulders Beach is home to approximately 2000 African penguins. It is situated in Simon’s Town which is about 40 kilometres away from the Cape Town City Centre.
It forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and you have to purchase tickets in order to enter. If you require tickets, you are able to purchase them from the entrance. Upon entering you will be surrounded by penguins on the beach and along the walkway.
These penguins are on the endangered list as their population is currently decreasing. Lets all do our part and help in the conservation of these beautiful penguins and visit Boulders beach when you are in the area. For more information, check out this post, Boulders Beach.
There is a plethora of wineries in the Western Cape, so there is definitely something to suit everyone’s tastes. You can start closest to Cape Town which is the Constantia wine region, offering a range of wineries with different wine tasting options. You can check out my review of the Groot Constantia winery here.
If you drive away from Cape Town into the northern suburbs, you will find the Durbanville region of wine estates.
About an hour away from Cape Town are the Stellenbosch wine Estates. You can check out my reviews for Delheim Wine Estate and Vredenheim Wine Estate here, both of which are located in Stellenbosch. And further away is the Franschoek region offering spectacular views in addition to great wine estates.
Depending on the experience and type of wine tasting you are looking for, there are lots of wine estates available at your disposal.
6. V & A Waterfront
The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town is a tourist’s dream. It offers an array of activities at one destination. It will be sure to keep you occupied. Make sure you set aside a day for this.
Big Wheel V & A Waterfront
From riding the Big Wheel, checking out a comedy show, taking a boat trip out into the ocean and visiting the Two Oceans aquarium to shopping and indulging in a variety of cuisines available. There is simply a whole lot to do. At the V & A Waterfront, you will find exclusive international clothing brands.
Having sampled a wide selection of the eateries, here is my restaurant guide for the food accessible there. The Cape Town Comedy Club is also a favourite to enjoy a night of laughs.
- Website: https://www.waterfront.co.za/
7. Cape Point
Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve is situated about 70km away from Cape Town. The most southern section of the African continent is Cape Point. It forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and you have to purchase tickets in order to enter.If you require tickets, you are able to purchase them from the entrance.
It has hiking trails, tram rides to the lighthouse, beaches and good food. In order to access the lighthouse you can either walk up or you can take a ride on a tram to get to the top. You need to purchase tickets in order to ride the funicular (tram). The funicular at this park is called the “Flying Dutchman”.
At Cape Point, a great place to enjoy a lovely meal is the Two Oceans restaurant where you witness spectacular views. You can check out my full review here.
- Website: https://capepoint.co.za/
8. Spice Route
If you are looking to tick off many activities in a single go, an ideal option is visiting the Spice Route in Paarl. You will find The Spice Route situated about 50 minutes away from Cape Town. It is a definite must see.
The Spice Route offers wine tasting, chocolate tasting, ice-cream tasting, delicious food and lots more. There are numerous restaurants present at the premises. Here is my comprehensive guide to the Spice Route with all that you need to see and do.
- Website: https://www.spiceroute.co.za/
Have you tried any of these things to do or do you have suggestions of must try places in Cape Town, let me know in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this post, check out my previous post on the Six Things to do in Hartbeespoort which offers a detailed list of things you can do on your trip to the town located in the North West province.
* Please note that all prices and contact information are correct at time of publication. Please check the venues websites as prices may change without notice. *
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